Kakania Berlin - May 9th : 7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum

7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin kulturforum berlin: kulturforumberlin.at 
ree Entry - May Monday 9th 2016
Stauffenbergstraße 1, 10785 Berlin. T: +49 30 202 87-114 E: berlin-kf (at) bmeia.gv.at

Very happy to announce that the Kakania project will debut in Berlin, with six new literary performance commissions from contemporary artists, each of whom will present a work that celebrates / responds to a figure from the Habsburg era. The event is free to attend if you're in Berlin, please share with friends in the city if you're not http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin

Book your place here: http://www.kulturforumberlin.at/veranstaltung/kakania/

Max Höfler on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tomomi Adachi on Josef Matthias Hauer
Ernesto Estrella on Gustav Mahler
Ann Cotten on Otto Neurath

This is the first of two Kakania events that will take place in Berlin in 2016, supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin and follows six events, a symposium, two publications and over fifty new artist commissions in London from 2014 to 2016 thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum. www.kakania.co.uk 

About Kakania

There has been no one city's culture, at one singular time in modern history, more widely influential on contemporary thought than that of Habsburg Vienna a century ago. A time so densely constituted with intellectual revolution in fields as diverse as poetry, fiction, journalism, music, composition, philosophy, psychology, art … that it seems it can often only be evoked through a wistfulness that belies the melancholy, the energy and the seismic change that constituted it.

With Kakania, decidedly contemporary, avant-garde, original works of text and art are presented in an attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. This is a project where the past, and our understanding of it, is not be refracted through historical analysis, but the creative process, and one that is utterly contemporary. Kakania is an opportunity for audiences to discover the Habsburg era in a wholly new guise, as our era.

A note on: Globe Road Festival Walking Tour - November 15th 2015

A really open, generous, honest and fascinating morning, walking the length of Globe road in East London, from Mile End Road to Bethnal Green. I was so pleased to be leading the walking tour for the Globe Road Festival with Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener, Adam Bohman as the commissioned artists, each presenting extraordinary and varied works, from Adam's hand written scores of found language, to Gareth's lyrical poem, to Elaine's heartfelt conceptual poem, read just a stone's throw from her childhood home. The many people in tow, kindly sharing their morning with us, followed on into York Hall, for a small reading kindly arranged by Jonathan Mann, where Richard Scott and Stephen Watts also read. You can find out all the details and watch all the performances here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad 

"A unique live walking tour performance experience, as part of the Globe Road Festival, the Enemies project presents a stroll down Globe Road itself, in the company of poets, sound artists and vanguardists. Stopping four times, at designated places on Globe Road, the artists will present a talk or performance completely original to the walk, in response to Globe Road. With their own lives entwined to the history and culture of this stretch of East London, this will be an original outdoor insight into the most interesting and often underground avant garde artists of contemporary London."

Mahu: celebrating Blart & Homebaked Books - Sunday June 7th: the videos

A beautiful Sunday evening in Kings Cross. Thanks to Stephen Emmerson, Lucy Harvest Clarke & MJ Weller.

the end of Kakania, for now...

In uploading the videos of the 4th and magisterial final act of the Kakania project I waded through all the Kakania webpages to change the tense from future to past. Not too sad a labour as I have stated so often, especially in the light of such an amazing final act, how satisfying the project now seems, how complete.

You can read all my past tenses here www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania

Kakania at the Austrian Cultural Forum - March 26th 2015

The end, for now. But as Kakania ended with war, perhaps our hopes should be too high. This incarnation of the time certainly ended with a beautiful, graceful, varied and dynamic evening of works in the appropriately resplendent salon-like surroundings of the Austrian Cultural Forum. A night for me personally to appreciate just how extraordinary the project has been, and how much this is owed to the generosity of the artists and the almost unheard of support, trust and enthusiasm of the Austrian Cultural Forum itself. Theodora Danek and her colleagues have been remarkable, and this was a night where I able to thank them.

The final event was not to be a culmination, it was, as each event has been, it's own entity, curated with it's own rhythm and feel, relative to the venue and artists. Yet, there was a natural build towards it. It was built on language works, poets, both new to Kakania and those who have acted as a sort of creative spine to the project, read - Stephen Emmerson so beautifully engaging with Rilke (his son is called Rainer), Colin Herd so brilliantly evoking Kokoschka, George Szirtes born to write about Schnitzler. These poets were complimented with some radically different mediums, Josh Alexander with his abstract film on Paul Wittgenstein, which when screened in the dark of that room genuinely moved me, Fabian Faltin with a conceptual performance on Otto Wagner which was utterly unforgettable and witty and energetic, and finally Ben Morris, a sound art beast, on Ernst Krenek. 

The point was to create a specific energy and experience throughout the evening that rested upon complimentary and responsive artforms, artworks and artists. And more than that to show how powerful the connection is in 21st century London to the iconoclasts of early 20th century Vienna. Each work spoke to the next, as together they were far more about the artists through the ghost voices of their Habsburg predecessors, than the details of the individual artworks themselves. It was like all of Kakania, unique, and warm hearted and brilliant.

considering Kakania before the IV at the Austrian Cultural Forum

http://www.acflondon.org/literature-and-books/kakania-iv/ Book your place
March 26th Thursday 7pm!

Kakania has been one of the most satisfying curatorial experiences of my career, perhaps the most satisfying. It's not just that the concept was so lovingly taken up by all the artists I approached, and that there was such a groundswell of positive responses from the extensive audiences and readers and creative folk involved, but because it began ambitious, almost intimidatingly so, and yet is coming to a close feeling intimate, careful and thoroughly realised. It's hard to marry one's ambition to reality in these kind of art projects, but four events in, two books, 40 artists each with a new commission and it feels I've barely broke a sweat. Without being cloy, the genuinely amazing support of the Austrian Cultural Forum is a huge part of this.

The final event is not a culmination, it is, as each event has been, it's own entity, curated with it's own rhythm and feel, relative to the venue and artists. Yet, there is a natural build towards it. It is built on language works, poets, both new to Kakania and those who have acted as a sort of creative spine to the project, will be reading - Stephen Emmerson so beautifully engaging with Rilke (his son is called Rainer), Colin Herd so brilliantly evoking Kokoschka, George Szirtes born to write about Schnitzler. These poets are complimented with some radically different mediums, Josh Alexander with his abstract film on Paul Wittgenstein, Fabian Faltin with a conceptual performance on Otto Wagner and Ben Morris, a sound art beast, on Ernst Krenek. 

The point is to create a specific energy and experience throughout the evening that rests on complimentary and responsive artforms, artworks and artists. And more than that to show how powerful the connection is in 21st century London to the iconoclasts of early 20th century Vienna. Each work will speak to the next, as together they are far more about the artists through the ghost voices of their Habsburg predecessors, than the details of the individual artworks themselves. It'll be unique, come along

Kakania at the Horse Hospital - February 19th

Another extraordinary lineup of contemporary artists presenting new works responding to figures of Habsburg Vienna one century ago marks our third Kakania event, this time taking place at the iconic Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, London. A host of artists I am very proud to present, coming from Vienna, Paris, Zagreb & elsewhere just for Kakania. Doors 7pm, for a 7.30 start.
 
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke

 
Tickets, at £8, on the door, with info available here: http://www.thehorsehospital.com/now/kakania-iii/

More news soon on the launches of the Kakania anthology and Oberwilding: on the life of Oskar Kokoschka, both original publications made for the project, now in print and presented for the first time at the Freud Museum. As well as our last event on March 26th at the Austrian Cultural Forum, who must be thanked for their generous support of this project. www.kakania.co.uk / www.acflondon.org
 
I would also like to draw your attention to the awful news that the Horse Hospital, an endlessly innovative and generous home for avant garde artwork in London, for 20 years now, is in the process of being sold off. There is a campaign against this http://www.thehorsehospital.com/horse-hospital-to-be-sold/ Please support the HH in anyway you can.

Zimzalla exhibition launch readings

http://weareenemies.com/zimzallaexhibition.html So pleased to kick off this 4th exhibition the Enemies project has done with the Hardy Tree gallery with such a wonderful evening of readings in Kings Cross. It felt like a catch up with old friends, and the ZimZalla objects, all 25 of them, look really beautiful in the space. Tom Jenks, the mastermind behind ZimZalla seemed pleased with it, and thats all that matters to me, along with the little bit more attention his publishing venture deserves. 
Tom Watts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAZfWSGE88k
Leanne Bridgewater https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1qHPfLvcng
MJ Weller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwSI1hplSr8
Stephen Emmerson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUvVJdqHRy4
Andy Spragg  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9g4hbIXvCQ

Yes But Are We Enemies? diary #1 : Belfast - a beginning

An extraordinary beginning to the Yes But Are We Enemies? project in Ireland, the wonderful poets of Belfast couldn't have been more generous and hospitable, and enthusiastic, to us and the idea. Such a privilege to meet so many I have admired from afar in person, including Billy Ramsell, Ailbhe Darcy, Robert Maclean, Susan Tomaselli, Damian Smyth, and to be taken in so fully by the amazing young poets around the University and the Heaney Centre in Belfast like Manuela Moser, Stephen Sexton and Padraig Regan. After arriving and exploring the city a wee bit, I was taken in to a bookshop lock-in by Stephen Connolly who has created a real scene around the Lifeboat reading series before we headed to the Crescent Arts Centre. The readings were uniformly intense and generous, and the vibe, as so often is the case with Enemies, was really warm and cohesive, and carried on into the night after the poetry. Such a great way to begin our tour. 
Stephen Connolly & Stephen Sexton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGEISvlX-7U
Padraig Regan & Manuela Moser - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgc2OR8uL3Y
Sophie Collins & Robert Maclean - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo9_BrrmBZU
Caitlin Newby & Andy Eaton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxpcE3Rv3s8
Tom Saunders & Lorcan Mullan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q03_BFgpoOY
Patrick Coyle & Ailbhe Darcy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUw3x4W0fXk
Sam Riviere & Christodoulos Makris - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5K9yYcSHGQ

Enemies Slovakia videos

Will Rowe - the pre-eminent British Vanguard critic of the latter 20th century

I have the great privilege of being associated with Will Rowe in a number of ways. He edited my book Fights for Veer, he was pivotal in my early involvement with the Writers forum and he is my doctoral supervisor. I am perhaps biased when calling him the most considerable scholar of the avant garde in this country of the last half century, eye to eye with Eric Mottram. As Stephen Watts said so eloquently at this event, held for Will's retirement, and absolutely packed to the rafters with admirers, friends, colleagues, well wishers and some of the best poets of his generation and the two or three following, Will is the consummate witness - never disturbing the integrity of his subjects, the great avant gardists of our time, but complimenting them, growing an understanding of their work and their selves, always alongside. Integrity is the word I would associate with Will, integrity and responsibility. Will's vast career is a testament to a life spent in pursuit of an ideal, and one which has been wholly successful. It is humbling to be before it, so very much aware my own piffling journey is just
beginning. This was a great evening. A day of talks were rounded off with a three hour reading session which featured some of the finest and warmest and most intense readings I've witnessed. Often I believe the London avant garde community has elements of stand offishness which can create unfortunately tapered atmospheres, but not on this day, so far away was that feeling of defence. This was all about celebration, about a genuine feeling of respect. Sean Bonney, Martin Bakero, Carol Watts were just a few whose variant styles and performances genuinely captivated everyone. It was delightful to see people come from around the globe to celebrate Will and his work, and all the more so that we could all share it in one place at one time, in an environment that truly represented his achievement. 

cobalt by claudiu komartin

I bumped into the remarkable poet and translator Stephen watts with his friend, the Romanian poet Claudiu Komartin and they were kind enough to give me a lovely pamphlet, beautifully crafted, called Cobalt, by Claudiu, brilliantly translated by Stephen. Really worth looking at the new Modern Poetry in Translation for more of their recent work too. 

new poets published on 3am - Goring / Van Winkle / Connolly / Niven

an exceptional group this, all of whom I admire, all of whom work their ways their way.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/and-you-know-how-they-can-let-you-down-these-people-other-poems/ Penny Goring lives in a block of flats in London. She wrote The Zoom Zoom (eight cuts gallery press, 2011). Her work has been published in HOUSEFIRE. The Guardian calls Penny ‘a lively and original new voice in poetry’.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/new-york-poems/ Alex Niven is originally from Northumberland and now lives in Leytonstone in East London. His poetry has been published in Ash, Etcetera, North-East Passage, and the Oxonian Review, and his poem ‘The Beehive’ recently provided the epigraph to Owen Hatherley’s architectural survey A New Kind of Bleak. He is currently working on a combined work of poetry and criticism for Zero Books, and a book about Oasis’s Definitely Maybe for the 33 1/3 series (Continuum).

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/stephen-connolly/ Stephen Connolly is 24 and from Belfast. Both a graduate and current student of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, he is in the second year of doctoral research looking at the innovation of traditional set forms in the work of Paul Muldoon. He runs The Lifeboatreading series and is an editorial assistant for The Yellow Nib.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/van-winkle-there-is-no-library-for-what-i-know-of-books/ Ryan Van Winkle is Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries following a successful run as the Scottish Poetry Library’s first-ever Reader in Residence. He remains the host of the SPL’s weekly poetry podcast as well as The Multi-Coloured Culture Laser Podcast (link). Ryan has been invited to read internationally at The Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Sofia Poetics, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. His first collection, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, was published by Salt in 2010 and won the Crashaw Prize.